People’s Party president Mike Mulongoti says President Edgar Lungu’s tendency of declaring holidays at any given opportunity shows how idle he is.

And Mulongoti says Lusaka Province Minister Bowman Lusambo must stop wasting time by doing work for his juniors.

In an interview with News Diggers! Tuesday, Mulongoti observed that President Lungu’s tendency of declaring holidays anyhow did not encourage productivity in the country.

“We have seen this tendency to declare holidays from the authorities. I do not think you can encourage productivity when you are quick at sending people to go and do nothing. This economy requires people to perform and they can only perform if they are encouraged to work. Every given opportunity they want to declare a holiday, it goes to show how idle they are,” Mulongoti said.

“We know that people who are getting money from corruption, they don’t labour for it so to them work means nothing. They get easy money. And because they have easy money, they want time to go and drink and enjoy themselves from that illicit money. No, we want to work [and] we want to encourage people to work. They should stop this habit of declaring holidays at every given opportunity. People want to perform, people want to work, they are being discouraged.”

Mulongoti wondered what was special about the mayoral election that the whole country had to go on holiday.

“Imagine how the business people are feeling. All of a sudden, the workers can’t come to work because somebody declared a holiday. There is an election in Lusaka, the whole country must go on holiday? The economy must perform 24 hours, but we have these idle characters who have got no time to plan, no time to think about the country. They are causing these problem where they are retarding the progress of this economy by declaring unnecessary holidays. What’s so special about a by-election in Lusaka to declare a holiday for the whole country and he takes off himself to go and drink in Mfuwe? That’s very sad,” he said.

And commenting Lusambo’s decision to chase 45 provincial office workers who reported for work late, Mulongoti said Lusambo should not take up duties meant for his juniors.

“When the system is collapsed, it takes a minister to go and tell people to work. Surely there is a system in government, from permanent secretary down to the lowest worker, it means those people have failed to perform. And if the minister himself can go and start checking, that’s not his role. Well, its a good thing to see how people are performing but that’s not his role. We have the system of government which we must ensure is performing. Suppose he goes to one department today, what happens to other departments? He must get the department he is [in] to perform, that’s the only way you can ensure there is activity in the system of government,” he said.

Mulongoti encouraged Lusambo to call department heads to his office and give them orders and a “tongue-lashing”.

“It’s not by you going alone. How many [departments] is he going to visit? He’s got an office where there are administrative issues to be attended to. So while we encourage leaders to know what’s going on, they must not spend time doing work for their juniors. What he should do is call the department heads to his office and give them a tongue-lashing and then give them orders that ‘I want to see this, I want to see this’. That’s what management is all about. He is behaving like a casual himself,” he said.

Meanwhile, Mulongoti said the ruling party was cheating itself by stopping the opposition from campaigning because its time was up.

Police on Tuesday disrupted three NDC meetings in Chifunabuli district on the basis that President Lungu would be in the area the next day.

“When people are desperate, they can’t see a future, they always think they can disadvantage others. Look at what’s happening in Lusaka, the attitude of people is not that exciting when they see a candidate from the ruling party. Why is it so? You think they don’t know who is tormenting them, who is persecuting them, who is making them starve? They know who they are. So whether you stop people from campaigning, along the way, they will find a way. We have technology today, I can go on television, and you will see me on television without you walking to see me. So they are just cheating themselves, their time is up,” said Mulongoti.